James Benjamin Bynum, 75, of Amarillo, Texas, died February 15, 2019.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 18, 2019, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery following services. The family will receive friends from 4-5:30 p.m., Sunday, February 17, 2019, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Ben was born April 16, 1943, to Isabel and James Smith Bynum in Amarillo. He graduated from Amarillo High School in 1961. While at AHS, he was an active member of the Speech and Debate team, Amarillo Little Theater, and KFDA TV News Station. After graduating from AHS, he attended the University of Texas at Austin where he was the president of his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha and served on the Athletic Council under Darrell Royal.
On August 26, 1966, Ben married Penny Brooks in Austin, Texas. In the late 1960s, he began his political career as a member of the Texas House of Representatives where he was the Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He was later elected Potter County Judge and assisted in the building of the Potter County Courts Building. In the mid 1980s, he became the Executive Director of the Care Unit in Canyon where he helped many people overcome their alcohol and drug addictions. He finished his career as the Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse under Gov. Ann Richards. In retirement, he spent his time serving on the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Board, enjoying his grandchildren’s activities and supporting his beloved Texas Longhorns.
He is survived by his wife Penny of 52 years, daughter Susan Lewallen and husband Cliff of Lubbock, daughter Brooke McKinney and husband Page of Amarillo, and sister Ann Whittenburg of Amarillo; grandchildren, Lindsey, Emily and Peyton Lewallen and Nelson and Charlie McKinney.